I suffer from a delightful condition called diastasis recti. That means that my fucking abdominal muscles never came back together the right way after my pregnancies. Google that shit. It’s fucking weird.
In addition to contributing to what’s lovingly known as “mummy tummy,” and also hilariously as the “mother’s apron,” i.e. the belly pooch you can thank your darling children for, diastasis recti fucks up your core. And your core is really fucking important.
Or something. Look, I’ve done tons of Internet “research,” and all I’ve “learned” just swirls around in my brain and mixes together. All I know for sure is that when I lift my arms a certain way, my stomach gets this bizarre, vertical hump. And when I lie on the floor with my knees bent, lift my head a little, and touch my abs, I can totally feel this weird gap of just… nothingness where I am quite sure muscle is supposed to be.
To illustrate, observe:
See those muscles? They’re supposed to be all snuggled up together, the way they were before someone’s offspring came along and spread them apart like curtains.
Why am I telling you this? Because immediately after my midwife told me I had this funfest going on, four years ago, I asked Dr. Google what to do, and I learned that Oh Em Gee, whatever you do, DO NOT DO ANY FUCKING CRUNCHES. Crunches will jack that shit up even worse.
Well. Dr. Google didn’t have to tell me twice not to do crunches. Fuck crunches. Fuck them, I say!
There are other exercises you’re supposed to be able to do to fix this shit up, but the Intarwebz cannot entirely agree on what those are. Do it one way, and your belly will be as flat as an ironing board in no time. Do it another way, and you might as well consign yourself to wearing maternity clothes the rest of your life, because you’re always going to have that perma-pregnant look going on.
The result is that on the rare occasions I’ve gotten a bug up my ass to work out a little, I mostly ignored my abs. I mean, fuck crunches, amirite?
So this is what I’ve got going on.
And I did my prissy little “mummy tummy” exercises for my delicate little abs. Because fuck crunches.
Let me just stop and say that the number of times I’ve had to type “mummy tummy” here is starting to make me feel nauseated. Put “mummy tummy” alongside “Hooter Hider” on the list of expressions that effectively infantalize mothers.
Let me also say I’m not entirely sure there actually is a cure for this shit short of the Kate Gosselin special. I mean, my kid is FOUR! No, I haven’t put much effort into knitting my abdominal muscles back together, but for fuck’s sake, they all still live in there. Shouldn’t they have kind of found their way back together now? I do think this may have improved a little bit over time. By, like, fractions of an inch. Every now and then I remember one tip I read once this one time that said you should basically SUCK YOUR GUT IN AS FUCKING HARD AS YOU CAN AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. So I do that sometimes. Maybe that’s helped!
Anyway. Back to the gym.
The fucking gym.
Today I returned to the circuit room. Ah, the humble circuit room. A couple of years ago, I paid for the cheapskate “circuit room only” gym membership for a few months, of which I actually went to the circuit room for a couple of weeks in the beginning. I kind of like the circuit room. It’s small, and it has machines, and you only have to do each machine for 30 seconds. There’s a timer that tells you to move! It’s a lot less intimidating than the sea of machines out on the big floor, covered in huge, burly dudes.
The problem with my cheapskate gym membership was that they were serious about it being CIRCUIT ROOM ONLY, BITCH! Like, I wasn’t allowed to use the locker room. I had to change in the little circuit room bathroom. And I learned that the circuit room bathroom is where all the gym employees go to take a dump. And someone’s shit schedule was perfectly aligned with my lunch break, which is when I was going to the circuit room.
Now I have the more-expensive membership that includes workout classes, childcare, and access to the fucking locker room, thankyouverymuch.
But the circuit room felt familiar today. And luckily, it did not smell familiar.
I did three circuits, skipping the ab stuff to instead do my fancypants diastasis recti exercises. My demeanor said to the others there, “Wut? Fuck crunches. I have mummy tummy, bitches. Look at me again. I will fucking bury you. In the gap between my abs. Try me, bitch.”
On the third circuit, I may or may not have also skipped the quadriceps machines, because my legs fucking HURT after the last two days of this going to the gym bullshit.
My three circuits didn’t take as long as Body Pump or motherfucking Zumba. But once again, I broke a sweat. And so did my iPod, because I wore it under my bra strap. Near the end, it actually slid in my sweat and spent the rest of my workout nestled between my boobs.
Tomorrow I am taking a fucking break. My body needs to rest. It’s not used to all this… activity and shit.
Gym Day Three
- Favorite part: the hot bath I’m about to take.
- Least favorite part: feeling like my poor, stove-up ole Mammaw, God rest her soul.